“Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:11)
We need more than willpower to get to God’s destinations for us. We can want more love, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance; but wanting them is not enough. It is a good start, but if we are to arrive at any of God’s destinations for us we must be looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
Jesus truly is our Savior. We can do nothing without Him. All true and lasting good is produced only as we are abiding in Him. We can mistake abiding in Him with being in His presence. The disciples were in the presence of Christ, but they were still striving to be great the last night they were with Him. Going to meetings where the presence of God is “thick” does not change us as much as we have been led to believe.
Godliness is gained as we abide in Christ through the trials we face. When the sun comes up our roots must go deeper, or we will wither and die. Our connection to Christ is often not as strong as we think it is. Our fellowship with Him needs to be richer. He stands at the door and He knocks. If we are to bring forth the fruits of righteousness, there is something of Himself that He would bring to us and we must receive. Here lies the pathway to increase in God.
It is wonderful to be in God’s presence – to know you are forgiven, and loved, and accepted. Such knowledge is transporting; but it is no guarantee of change in the depths of our being. The same Christ who has received us to the glory of God, desires us to abide in Him at all times. He bids us to come to Him in order to learn of Him. He, in all His glorious beauty, is God’s destination for us. We can’t get there without Him.